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Why do we buck change . . .even change that is “good”?  I have a theory.

Some of us buck change because it’s hard. Because it makes things worse, not better. Because it takes us longer to cross the same finish line when we’re forced to follow a different path to get there. It makes us uncomfortable, it feels unfamiliar, and it doesn’t always produce the desired effect.

These are the attitudes and perceptions around change. I think it was a Greek philosopher who reminded us “the only constant in life is change.” We need no reminder any more. All we have to do is look around to see the world is changing faster than ever, the speed of innovation only eclipsed by the speed of opportunity. So why wouldn’t we? Change, that is?

Most people naturally want to improve, do more, producer greater results, drive better outcomes. We’re built for change, for self-improvement and evolution. Unfortunately, not all of the changes that get rolled out to the workforce actually do make their jobs easier, their lives less confusing, or provide them with a better experience. We don’t always apply change that is intended to drive a better experience for the change recipient. That dissonance is when we see resistance and may need to manage change.

For those changes we apply that are intended to do good, to make life easier, to truly transform the workforce experience, we need to think differently.  We need to provide reassurance that positive outcomes will follow – reassurance ahead of proof, that is. To effectively empower change, we need to think differently about how to position change.


It’s a paradigm shift but an important one. You shouldn’t need to “sell” change to change recipients if you considered them from the beginning. Change enablement is a concept that embraces a “think differently” mentality. It starts with taking a human-centered design approach and incorporating change through every milestone. Change and design are not and should not be viewed as two separate workstreams: they are a singular workstream with a singular focus on delivering value to the workforce.

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We may still have traditional change management deliverables like a communication plan and an impact analysis, but they are created in parallel with the design process and as an output of the design process . . . not at the end or as an afterthought.

By creating solutions while keeping the impact of change front of mind, we are able to focus on ensuring our people see true value for the work that has been done . . . work they have been a part of. Designing for change, seeing through change, and keeping sight of your guiding principles when communicating and deploying change is what will make your transformation efforts stick.


Ryan Malkes is an advisor with more than 10 years of experience as an HR consultant (internal and external) and a learning & development practitioner. His passions lie in helping organizations reimagine their digital workforce experiences and deliver on their employee value proposition. His engagements routinely include talent management strategy, design work, organizational development, training and change enablement. Much of Ryan’s recent work has been tied to the deployment and/or optimization of leading cloud HR technology. He holds 2 ServiceNow certifications – System Administrator and Technical Consultant.

Leapgen is a global digital transformation company shaping the future of work. Highly respected as a visionary partner to organizations looking to design and deliver a digital workforce experience that will produce valued outcomes to the business, Leapgen helps enterprise leaders rethink how to better design and deliver workforce services and architect HR technology solutions that meet the expectations of workers and the needs of the business. Contact us to get started.